Wednesday, January 28, 2015


Two posts in one day? It might never happen again, but I couldn't keep myself from sharing how heartbreakingly beautiful my yard was this morning. Here's a little taste of my "commute" out to my studio office in the barn.

All things bright and beautiful!

January's Pretty Palettes :: Rose Blush Necklace/Bracelet

According to Pantone, 2015's color of the year is Marsala, a rich red wine shade with earthy tones and killer versatility. I love this image showing Marsala with some of its possible color companions. This color was the start for Erin Prais-Hintz' January Pretty Palettes blog hop hosted by Halcraft USA.

For more information about the blog hop and to see what others have made using the same color palette of beads, visit the Halcraft blog here.

Erin used this image as the inspiration image for her post, and I LOVE it. Whoever thought to put succulents in a bridal bouquet? Brilliant! The dusty rose and the almost greenish gray of what we around here call "hen & chicks" feel sophisticated and lush.

Here are the beads I started with to match the Pretty Palette. I used the image as much as the swatches at the bottom, and I really loved the faux pearls in dusty rose. I ended up adding some metal spacers with crystals and left out many of the pinkier beads in favor of just using the ombre pearls in the end.

My Bead Gallery beads from Michaels Stores!
I fumbled a bit with this project, as the colors were way pinker than what I am usually comfortable working with. What is it about pink? It's intimidating to me. Is it to you?

Do you ever have days where you just want to do something sort of monotonous and repetitive? That was my day yesterday. I wanted a project in which I could just enjoy the beads, their rosy color, their different textures and finishes, so I decided that I wanted to create a really long knotted bead necklace. 

I ended up using the great ombre pearls, some of the green blue faceted beads, and some of the marsala red rounds along with the great silvery resin rounds that look like they have tiny crystal caves inside. 

I used Beadalon's handheld knotting tool (how-to video in the link). They have a newer tabletop tool (how-to video in the link) that I haven't tried yet, but I'm really happy with my little handheld jobbie. I love this little wooden thing. It makes the knots slide off easily and keeps them close to the beads. If you haven't tried one, it's definitely worth asking some of your beading friends about. Maybe one has a knotting tool you can take for a test drive. You string all of the beads you'd like to use, then slowly and meditatively get into the rhythm of knotting and sliding a bead, knotting and sliding a bead. It's lovely, and just as relaxing as knitting!

Maybe I'll get a chance to use the newer tabletop tool next week when I visit the Beadalon booth in Tucson!
You can wear this as a long necklace, or wrapped around your wrist multiple times as a bracelet, or even doubled as a longer and shorter strand necklace, as I did on my little mannequin here in my office.

And with the leftover beads, don't forget to make yourself a pretty pair of earrings!

Even though the greenish gray flashes that showed up in the succulents didn't show up in the little samples on the palette, I decided to incorporate them into my jewelry. I love how this color looks with the dusty rose and marsala red. It's so sophisticated and unexpected!

Thank you for another wonderful Pretty Palettes blog hop, Erin!